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Embedded database merges in-memory, on-disk strategies

Feb 6, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Embedded database specialist McObject has released a product that aims to combine the best features of both on-disk and in-memory database management within a single system. eXtremeDB Fusion lets developers make optimal tradeoffs among factors such as speed, persistence, physical space requirements, and cost, the company claims.

Traditional on-disk databases cache frequently requested data in memory, but write all database updates, insertions, and deletes through the cache to be stored on disk. In contrast, in-memory database systems (IMDSs) eliminate disk access and store data in main memory, sending data to the hard disk only when specified by the application, according to McObject. IMDSs are generally very fast, and have a small footprint and low CPU requirements.

On-disk database systems, meanwhile, have the advantage of data persistence; plus, disk storage typically costs less than memory and are available in larger capacities. Consequently, for small form-factor devices with large storage needs, conventional hard drives may be preferable, the company suggests.

McObject says that eXtremeDB Fusion lets developers combine both database paradigms — in-memory and on-disk — within a single database instance. Using simple database schema declarations, one set of data can be declared as transient, to be managed in memory, while other record types are committed to disk, the company explains. The resulting application retains in-memory strengths, such as speed, small footprint, and an intuitive native API, while potentially leveraging the cost savings and durability of an on-disk database.

According to CEO Steve Graves, “McObject's philosophy has always been to put the developer in charge. From the start, our eXtremeDB in-memory database has provided sophisticated tools for control in the development and run-time environments. eXtremeDB Fusion is the logical next step in that philosophy. With eXtremeDB Fusion, the developer fine tunes database storage modality according to the exact speed, footprint and other requirements of the operating environment and target system.”

Like eXtremeDB, eXtremeDB Fusion supports a range of embedded operating systems, including Linux and Windows CE. Additionally, source code is available for porting to additional platforms, according to McObject.

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